Pa. Game Commission Tests Deer for Disease

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Around the Game Commission

The Game Commission is in the process of testing some of the white-tailed deer taken by hunters during the two-week firearms deer season for chronic wasting disease. The disease has never shown up yet in Pennsylvania, so far as anyone knows. The commission tests deer annually, however, to look for it.

Game Commission crews collected the heads from 4,000 hunter- killed deer. Veterinarians and laboratory technicians from the Pennsylvania and U.S. departments of Agriculture are testing them at the University of Pennsylvania's veterinary diagnostic laboratory at the New Bolton Center in Chester County for the disease. Results of those tests will be available later this spring.

Last season, 4,251 deer and all of the animals harvested during the state's elk hunting season were examined. All of those tests came back negative for CWD.

With one class of cadets soon to graduate, the Game Commission is already recruiting a new group of wildlife conservation officer trainees. The agency is seeking applicants for its 28th officer class, which is set to begin training in April 2009. Applications are available from the Civil Service Commission. They are tentatively set to be taken from Jan. 30 to Feb. 27, or until 900 are received, whichever comes first. The exact application period will be announced on the agency's Web site. Applicants must be a resident of Pennsylvania; have a high school diploma or G.E.D. equivalency; at least 21 years of age by April 1, 2009; possess a valid Pennsylvania driver's license; and pass written and oral tests. They also must have possessed a hunting or furtaking license for two license years as of Feb. 27, 2008.

Hunters who want to apply for a second spring gobbler tag can now do so. …